Simon Kirk free associates images and text to create playful abstractions. He is interested in the ambiguous subjective ‘hidden’ narrative where the ‘story’ remains oblique or partial. The work is multidirectional and open ended. Meaning is inherent but impossible to pin down precisely. The work is primarily layers of painting combined with collaged elements. However, he also uses the decollage technique – cutting, tearing or sanding away parts of the built up surface image to reveal layers below.
A: Tell us about the work listed in the magazine.
SK: The piece is a good example of how I free associate my text and found images to create a self contained scenario with its own reality. I’m a big fan of haiku and the gentle playfulness that helps us view everyday life with fresh eyes. I like to use this device a lot; the inherent simplicity of my cut up text leaves a lot of room for the viewer to find their own meaning. The characters within the scenarios are challenged with weird and impossible predicaments, and the viewer is asked to join them in confronting the strangeness.
A:Who or what influences your work?
SK: Films inspire me – I love films that don’t have a linear plot, like David Lynch films for example. You recognise all the scenarios, you can understand the language and you almost know what’s going on, but not quite… It’s open to interpretation. Artistically I look to Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat among others. I love the work of William Burroughs and Charles Bukowski – both have a very dry dark humour that appeals to me.
A: Your work combines painting, collage and decollage, what lead you to working in these media?
SK: It was my solution to the problem of translating my sketchbooks to a wall. I always found this work far more dynamic, and much was lost in simple reproduction. So I began working on my pictures as I would a sketchbook. I build up layers, paint areas out and rip bits off; ideas are developing and decisions about composition are all taking place on the piece itself. Everything filters through me quicker and doesn’t have to be rendered a second time. It’s taken years for me to develop my style, and it’s the way I feel most comfortable working.
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1. Kenneth 6 x 4” (10 x 15cms) Collage on Decollage on Board, 2014.
2. Quantum Art 6 x 4” (10 x 15cms) Collage on Decollage on Board, 2014
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